Sanusi Lamido II has condemned the Federal Government’s persistent payment of petroleum subsidy if slowing down the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Nigeria by 2030.
About N714bn has went to the payment of fuel subsidy in just 8 months.
But Sanusi Lamido, the former Emir of Kano and former Central Bank Governor at the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, said such a move is counterproductive.
He noted that while countries like Ghana and Rwanda are spending more on education and health care, Nigeria has remained behind with paying for subsidy.
“Does the Nigerian state even consider development as its critical priority?” Sanusi asked.
“Forget the noise, where are we spending our money? We spend more money on debt service, fuel subsidy, overheads on the national assembly and not education, healthcare that countries like Ghana and Rwanda are spending.”
“At the level of the state, we have to decide what the priority is. So long as our spending sends the wrong signals and the bulk of our resources are going to the wrong areas, we are not going to reach the goals of the SDGs,” he added.
“If we do not as a nation, at the level of leadership, understand that development is about human beings; everything we are doing will come back and hurt us,” he said.
“So, the biggest accelerator is having a political leadership that understands that the state should be developmental and not a popular state.
“For the last 20-30 years, we have turned the state into a populous and righteous state, the focus has to be interrogated.”
“We need a mind change. It is something that the states need to exit. For those poor people, whoever is sitting; the governor or the state should think of those people first,” he added.
“When you do that is when you make the right investment in education, health and the right policies that will help us to reduce poverty. If we don’t do all these, we cannot accelerate the SDGs.”